ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY

ORIGINAL NARRATIVES OF EARLY AMERICAN HISTORY

INTRO
BOOK I:   Chapters 1 - 10 | Chapters 11 - 20 | Chapters 21 - 30 | Chapters 31 - 40 | Chapters 41 - 45
BOOK II:  Chapters 1 - 10 | Chapters 11 - 26
BOOK III

CHAP. XL.

Of the cunning policy of Satan in that machevillian Principle,

divide and overcome, and of the two first dividing Principles,

by which many errors were brought in.

And verily Satans policy here (as in all places where the Lord Christ is acknowledged) was to keepe men from that one right way, by which hee applies himselfe to the soule, no marvell then if so many Errours arise, like those fained heads of Hidra, as fast as one is cut off two stand up in the roome, and chiefly about the uniting of a soule to Christ by Faith. Their Errors in this point they reported to be the judgement of the Reverend and Judicious Mr. John Cotten; but hee having spoken for himselfe in his answer to Mr. Baily, I forbeare, onely this by the way, take notice of these subtill Projectors, the Erronist I meane, who perceiving this holy man of God Mr. Cotten was and yet is in great esteeme with the people of God, for the great grave Christ hath bestowed upon him in his deepe discerning the mysteries of godlinesse, as also discerning some little difference betweene him and the other Elders about this point, comment upon it, and inlarge at their pleasure, and then in daily venting their deceivable Doctrines, like subtill Logicians, bring in this as their strongest argument in the last place. I’le tell you Friend, Neighbour, Brother, if you will forbeare to speake of it till you hear farther, this is the judgement of M. Cotten, when he, it may be, had never heard of it, or at least wise, when they brought this their bastardly brat to him, they put another vizard on the face of it: but that you may understand their way of broaching their abominable errors, it was in dividing those things the Lord hath united in his worke of conversion continued, carrying on a Soule to Heaven in these foure Particulars.

First, in dividing betweene the word and the word, under pretence of a legall Gospell, perswading the people their Ministers were legall Preachers, teaching them little better then Popery, and unfit for Gospell Churches, denying them to be any Ministers of Christ that Preach any preparation worke, by shewing men what the Law requires. Here’s nothing, sayes one of them, but Preaching out of the Law and the Prophets, truly sayes another of them I have not heard a pure Gospell Sermon from any of them, but sure they were both troubled with the Lethargy, or read not the Gospell for themselves, for they may finde the Apostles, yes, and Christ himselfe, Preached good Gospell sure, out of the Law and the Prophets.

Secondly, in separating Christ and his Graces, in manifesting himselfe to be in the soule, and this they say makes much for the magnifying of Free-grace, and indeed they made it so free, that the soule that receives it shall never taste any of it by their consent, but remaine still a dry branch as before; these legall Pharises, sayes one of them, tell us of a thing they call inherent grace, and of a man being made a new creature, but I am sure the best of them goe on in their legall duties and performances still, sorrowing for sinne, hearing of Sermons, observing duty Morning and Evening, and many such like matters. Tush man, sayes another of them, you shall hear more then this, I was discoursing with one of their Scholasticall Preachers Disciples, a professed convert, and yet when he came to pray, he beg’d for forgivenesse of his sins, I asked him why he used that vaine repetition, since hee did believe he was justified by Christ already, and hee made me an answer not worth repeating, but when I told him God could see no sinne in his people, no more than I could see that which was covered close from my eye-sight; hee told mee I spake little lesse then blasphemy, so ignorant are these men, and their learned guides also; who perswade them the more they have of the in-dwelling of the Spirit of Christ, the better they shall be inabled to these legall duties. Nay, quoth the other, I can tell you more then all this, they make it an evidence of their good estate, even their sanctification, and yet these men would make people believe they are against Popery.

By this discourse of theirs, you may see the manner how these Erronious, and Hereticall persons batter off the fruit from the goodly branches of Christs vines and make bare the flourishing trees planted in the house of the Lord, and yet professe themselves to be Schollars of the upper forme, that have learned as far as their Masters can teach them, but let me tell you friends you’l prove but trewants if you thus to Robbing of Orchards, and its an offence far beyond petty Larceny, to rob Christs Garden, let your pretences be what they will: can it possible {possibly} be for the magnifying of Christs Grace that the branches growing upon his root should remaine fruitlesse? No assuredly, herein God is glorified that his people bring forth much fruit, yet many of these new Gospellers had another plea, hypocrites have a seeming shew of Saints graces by which they deceive themselves and others; And therefore because Felons and Traytors coyne counterfeit Gold, therefore true Gold should not passe for current, but the intent of the Author is to prosecute the History, these errours being confuted already by the able servants of Christ, whom the Lord in his mercy brought hither for that purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAP. XLI.

Of the two latter dividing Principles under which these Erronists fought.

The third dividing tenent, by which these persons prosecuted their errors at this time, was betweene the Word of God, and the Spirit of God, and here these Sectaries had many prety knacks to delude withall, and especially to please the Femall Sex, they told of rare Revelations of things to come from the spirit (as they say); it was onely devised to weaken the Word of the Lord in the mouth of his Ministers, and withall to put both ignorant and unlettered Men and Women in a posture of Preaching to a multitude, that they might be praised for their able Tongue. Come along with me, sayes one of them, I’le bring you to a Woman that Preaches better Gospell then any of your black-coates that have been at the Ninneversity, a Woman of another kinde of spirit, who hath had many Revelations of things to come, and for my part, saith hee, I had rather hear such a one that speakes from the meere motion of the spirit, without any study at all, then any of your learned Scollers, although they may be fuller of Scripture (I) [ay] and admit they may speake by the helpe of the spirit, yet the other goes beyond them. Gentle Reader, thinke not these things fained, because I name not the parties, or that here is no witnesse to prove them, should I so do: neither of both is the cause I assure you, but being somewhat acquainted with my own weakenesse, should the Lord withdraw the light of his word, and also I verily believe some of them are truly turned againe to the truth, the which I wish to all, yet by relating the story all men may see what a spirit of giddinesse they were given up to, and some of them to strong delusions, even to most horrid and damnable blasphemies, having itching eares, or rather proud desires to become Teachers of others, when they grosly erred in the first Principles of Religion themselves. There was a man in one of the farthest Townes of the Mattacusets Government, where they had no Ministers for the present, he being much desirous to shew himselfe some body in talking to as many as hee could get to hear him one [on] the Sabbath day, missing some of his Auditors, he meets with one of them some few dayes after, they passing over the water together, where were you quoth he on the Sabbath day that you were not at the meeting? we had a notable piece of Prophecy. Quoth the man that was missing, who was it that Preached? The other replying not: his Wife being in presence, answered; it was my husband. Nay wife, quoth he, thou shoulds not have told him, teach him to stay at home another time.

By this and divers other such like matters, which might be here inserted, you may see how these Sectaries love the preheminence, and for this end seeke to deprive the Ministers of Christ, inveigling as many as they can in the head, that they take to {too} much upon them (just like the rebellious Korath, Dathan, and Abiram) scoffing at their Scholler-like way of Preaching, wherein the grosse dissimulation of these erronious persons hath appeared exceedingly, as for instance first of a Woman, even the grand Mistris of all the rest, who denied the Resurrection from the dead, shee and her consorts mightily rayling against learning, perswading all they could to take heed of being spoyled by it, and in the meane time, shee her selfe would dispute (forsooth) and to shew her skill that way, here is a falacy quoth she in this syllogisme: as also one of the Gortonists, as shallow a pated Scholler as my selfe, far from understanding Latine, much lesse any other Language the Scriptures were writ in, yet when hee would hold out some of the best of his false Doctrines, as namely, that there were no other Devills but wicked men, nor no such thing as sin, Quoth he, that place in the fourth Psalme, where men commonly read, stand in awe and sin not, in the originall it is read stand in awe and misse not. But to go one, at this time there were many strange Revelations told both of Men and Women, as true some of them said as the Scripture, so that surely had this Sect gone on awhile, they would have made a new Bible, and their chief Mistris when she was shipt for N. England, what will you say, quoth she, and it hath beene revealed to me that we shall be there in six weekes, and one of the femall Gortonists said, she was a Prophetesse, and it was revealed unto her, that shee must prophecy unto the People in the same words the Prophet Ezekiel did, as also a lusty big man to defend this tenent held forth to his Pastor before the whole Congregation, that the spirit of Revelation came to him as he was drinking a pipe of Tobacco.

The fourth dividing way to bring in their Heresies, was to devide betweene Christ and his Ordinances, and here they plaid their game to purpose, even to casting down of all Ordinances as carnall, and that because they were polluted by the Ordinance of man, as some of these Sectaries have said to the Minister of Christ, you have cast off the crosse in Baptisme, but you should do well to cast off Baptisme it selfe; as also for the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, for to make use of Bread, or the juce of a silly Grape to represent the Body and Bloud of Christ, they accounted it as bad as Negromancy in the Ministers of Christ to performe it. But seeing there will be occasion to bring in a bed-roule of these Blasphemies in the yeare (43) and (44) take the lesse here; onely minde that these persons being first bewildred in the deniall of Infants being Baptized, could neither finde right faith to be Baptized into, nor yet any person rightly constituted to Baptize. Remaining Seekers, they came to this, but yet here must not be omitted the slights these Erronists had to shoulder out the Officers Christ hath ordained, and set up in his Churches; and verily in this point they sided directly with the Papist and Prelates, although in most of the other they went directly out of the way on the other hand. Ignorance say the Papist is the Mother of devotion, its better say the Protestant Prelates to have a blind Sir John, one that cannot tell how to Preach, provided he will conforme to our Ceremonies, than to have one that will Preach constantly, and not conforme also: these Erronist, shewing themselves to be whelps of the same litter, Cry out against a learned Presbitery, as the onely way to captivate liberty, and herein the transformed Devill came to shew his Hornes, for why, his errors would not take where the people were followers of their seeing guids, and if it be well noted, here is the Masterpiece of all their knavery, the which comes in after this manner, the Lording Prelacy, Popes, Cardinalls, Bishops, Deanes, etc., were ordinarily brought up at the University to learning, and have most tyrannically abused it, usurping over the People of Christ, and exercised most inhumane and barbarous cruelty upon them; as also the Presbyterian Kirke by these Provinciall Classes, men of learning having robbed the particular Congregations of their just and lawfull priviledges, which Christ hath purchased for them, Each Congregational of his being invested with full power to Administer all the Ordinances he hath ordained, in and toward their owne Members; and further learned men in some places, feeding the people for their Tith-sake in a Parishioniall way, desire the upholding thereof, lest their fat Benefices should grow leane.

Now the Redemption of the people of Christ out of all these bondages, being full of difficulty to attaine, as is abundantly witnessed in the great hardship Gods people have undergon in this Wildernesse-worke; as also much more by that bloudy war so long continued in our Native Country, and the two adjacent Kingdomes, This makes a very faire bottome for those to build upon, who would have the sluce of authority in the Officers of Christs Churches plucked up, that so their errors might flow in like a floud; And therefore they impannell a Jury of their own Sectaries to passe upon all such as put a higher esteem upon their Pastors and Teachers (in point of discerning the holy things of God) then upon other men, who returne in their Verdit as finding them guilty of the crime above expressed, either as party, or privy abetters unto them, Upon this the Vote goes for advancing such men as will let them out line enough, for such as will worke without wages, and give to every man liberty to exercise a large conscience, provided it be his own, and as for authority, they would have none used, as being a thing two opposite to liberty. My friend, cast off as much of thy owne power as thou canst, and beware of Lording it over Gods Heritage, but I pray thee let Christ alone with his, which he hath given to his Pastors and Teachers in administring the holy things of God, peculiar to their Office, and tremble all you Presbyterians, who to please the people prostrate the authority Christ hath put upon the Eldrs of his Churches as Officers, to the resolute liberty of man: the people may and ought to call them to Office, to the which Christ hath united double honour and authority, and appointed them to be had in high esteeme for their workesake, being Embassadors of Christ Jesus. This may no man take from them, nor yet they themselves cast off, and yet all this makes nothing for the Papall, Prelaticall, Classicall or Parishionall authority of the Presbitery, for it holds onely in their ruling well, while they rule for Christ, they must and shall have the power hee hath put upon their Office. From these foure dividing Tenents by the cunning art of these deceivers, were forescore grosse errours broached secretly, sliding in the darke like the Plague, proving very infectious to some of the Churches of Christ in their Members.

CHAP. XLII.

Of sad effects of the pitifull and erronious Doctrines broached by the Sectuaries.

The number of these infectious persons increasing now, having drawn a great party on their side, and some considerable persons, they grow bold, and dare question the sound and wholesome truths delivered in publick by the Ministers of Christ. Their Church-meetings are full of Disputes in points of difference, and their love-Feasts are not free from spots, in their Courts of civill Justice some men utter their Speeches in matters of Religion very ambiguously, and among all sorts of persons a great talke of new light, but verily it proved but old darknesse, such as sometime over-shadowed the City of Munster; But blessed be the Lord Christ, who now declared himselfe to be a helpe at hand for his poore New England Churches, being now in their infancy, whose condition at present was very dolorous, and full of difficulties, insomuch that the better part of this new transported people stood still many of them gazing one upon another, like Sheepe let loose to feed on fresh pasture, being stopped and startled in their course by a Kennell of devouring Wolves. The weaker fort wavered much, and such as were more growne Christians hardly durst discover the truth they held one unto another. The fogs of errour increasing, the bright beames of the glorious Gospell of our Lord Christ in the Mouth of his Ministers could not be discerned through this thick mist by many, and that sweete refreshing warmth that was formerly felt from the spirits influence, was now turned (in these Erronists) to a hot inflamation of their owne conceited Revelations, ulcerating and bringing little lesse then frenzy or madnesse to the patient, the Congregation of the people of God began to be forsaken, and the weaker Sex prevailed so farre, that they set up a Priest of their own Profession and sex, who was much thronged after, abominably wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction: this Master-piece of Womens wit, drew many Disciples after her, and to that end boldly insinuated her selfe into the favour of none of the meanest, being also backed with the Sorcery of a second, who had much converse with the Devill by her own confession, and did, to the admiration of those that heard her, utter many speeches in the Latine Tongue, as it were in a trance. This Woman was wonted to give drinkes to other Women to cause them to conceive, how they wrought I know not, but sure there were Monsters borne not long after, as you shall hear in the following History.

Oh yee New England Men and Women, who hath bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? And indeed Satan, to make sure worke with semblance of Preaching the Doctrine of Free-grace by his instruments, makes shew of out-bidding all the Orthodox and godly Ministers in the Countrey, pretending their Preaching to be but a Covenant of workes, supposing by this meanes to silence them without a Bishop, and lest the civill power should stand up for their aid, they threaten them with the high displeasure of Christ for persecuting his people, which as they said these erronious persons with their now light, were the onely Men and Women that were pure Gospell Preachers, Thus the poore people of Christ, who kept close to his antient truths, invironed with many straites, having expended their Estates to voyage far through the perillous Seas, that their eyes might behold their Teachers, and that they might injoy the protection of a godly civill Government, began to deeme themselves in a more dolorous condition then when they were in the Commissaries Court, and Prelates Prisons. The hideous waves in which their brittle Barques were sometimes covered, as they passed hither, were nothing so terrible in the apprehension of some as was this floud of errors violently beating against the bankes of Church and civill Government. The wants of this Wildernesse, and pinching penury in misse of Bread, put them to no such paine by gnawing on their empty stomacks, with feare of famishing, as did the misse of the Administration of Christ in his Word and Ordinances, leaving the soule in a languishing condition for want of a continuall supply of Christ in his Graces.

 

CHAP. XLIII.

Of the sorrowful condition of the people of Christ,

When they were incountred with these erronists at their first landing.

But to end this dismall yeare of sixteene hundred thirty six, take here the sorrowfull complaint of a poore Soule in misse of its expectation at landing, who being incountered with some of these Erronists at his first landing, when he saw that good old way of Christ rejected by them, and hee could not skill in that new light, which was the common theame of every mans Discourse, hee betooke him to a narrow Indian path, in which his serious Meditations soone led him, where none but sencelesse Trees and eccohing Rocks make answer to his heart-easing mone. Oh quoth he where am I become is this the place where those Reverend Preachers are fled, that Christ was pleased to make use of to rouse up his rich graces in many a drooping soule; here I have met with some that tell mee, I must take a naked Christ. Oh, woe is mee if Christ be naked to mee, wherewith shall I be cloathed, but methinks I most wonder they tell me of casting of all godly sorrow for sin as unbeseeming a Soule, that is united to Christ by Faith, and there was a little nimbled tongued Woman among them, who said she could bring me acquainted with one of her own Sex that would shew me a way, if I could attaine it, even Revelations, full of such ravishing joy that I should never have cause to be sorry for sinne, so long as I live, and as for her part shee had attained it already: a company of legall Professors, quoth she, lie poring on the Law which Christ hath abolished, and when you breake it then you breake your joy, and now no way will serve your turne, but a deepe sorrow. These and divers other expressions intimate unto men [me?], that here I shall finde little increase in the Graces of Christ, through the hearing of his word Preached, and other of his blessed Ordinances. Oh cunning Devill, the Lord Christ rebuke thee, that under pretence of a free and ample Gospell shuts out the Soule from partaking with the Divine Nature of Christ, in that mysticall Union of his Blessed Spirit, creating and continuing his Graces in the Soule: my deare Christ, it was thy worke that moved me hither to come, hoping to finde thy powerfull presence in the Preaching of the Word, although administred by sorry men, subject to like infirmities with others of Gods people, and also by the glasse of the Law to have my sinfull corrupt nature discovered daily more and more, and my utter inability of any thing that is good, magnifying hereby the free grace of Christ; who of his good will and pleasure worketh in us to will, and to doe, working all our works in us, and for us.

But here they tell me of a naked Christ, what is the whole life of a Christian upon this Earth? But through the power of Christ die to sinne, and live to holinesse and righteousnesse, and for that end to be diligent in the use of meanes: at the uttering of this word he starts up from the greene bed of his complaint with resolution to hear some one of these able Ministers Preach (whom report had so valued) before his will should make choyce of any one principle, though of crossing the broade Seas back againe; then turning his face to the Sun, he steered his course toward the next Town, and after some small travell hee came to a large plaine. No sooner was hee entred thereon, but hearing the sound of a Drum he was directed toward it by a broade beaten way. Following this rode he demands of the next man he met what the signall of the Drum ment, the reply was made they had as yet no Bell to call men to meeting; and therefore made use of a Drum. Who is it, quoth hee, Lectures at this Towne? The other replies, I see you are a stranger, new come over, seeing you know not the man, it is one Mr. Shepheard. Verily quoth the other, you hit the right, I am new come over indeed, and have been told since I came most of your Ministers are legall Preachers, onely if I mistake not they told me this man Preached a finer covenant of workes then the other. but however, I shall make what hast I can to heare him. Fare you well. Then hasting thither hee croudeth through the thickest, where having stayed while the glasse was turned up twice, the man was metamorphosed, and was faine to hang down the head often, least his watery eyes should blab abroad the secret conjunction of his affections, his heart crying loud to the Lords ecchoing answer, to his blessed spirit, that caused the Speech of a poore weake pale complectioned man to take such impression in his soule at present, by applying the word so aptly, as if hee had beene his Privy Counseller, cleering Christs worke of grace in the soule from all those false Doctrines, which the erronious party had afrighted him withall, and now he resolves (the Lord willing) to live and die with the Ministers of New England; whom hee now saw the Lord had not onely made zealous to stand for the truth of his Discipline, but also of the Doctrine, and not to give ground one inch.

CHAP. XLIIII.

The Congregationall Churches of Christ are neither favourers of sinfull opinions,

Nor the Lords over any, or many Churches, or mens Consciences.

And here, Christian Reader, the Author according to his former practice, must minde thee of the admirable providence of Christ toward his New England Churches, in preserving them from these erronious spirits, that have hitherto in all places dog’d the sincere servants of Christ, when ever they have set upon a through {thorough} Reformation, as stories doe abundantly testify, which thing the reverend Calvine and divers others, have declared. But seeing the boasting Prelates in these times are ready to say their Lordly power kept these errours under, it’s plaine otherwise: for Satan saw while people were under their yoake of humane inventions, they were far enough from exalting the Kingdome of Christ; And therefore he reserved these errours, for his last shifts, and further you shall see in the following story that the Lord Christ reserved this honour for those, whose love hee had inlarged to follow him in a dezart wildernesse, even with the sharpe sword of the Word, timely to cut off the heads of this Hidra; but yet there are two sorts of persons in our Native Country, whom the Elders and Brethren here do highly honour in Christ, and prefer before themselves, namely the godly Presbyterian party, and the Congregationall sincere servants of Christ, both which the Author could wish, that (with bowells of compassion, sweet simpathising affection of Brethren knit together in that transcendent love of Christ , which couples all his distanced flockes together) they would seriously ponder this History, which through the Authors weakenesse wants much of measure, but nothing of the truth of things, so far as a shallow capacity can reach. Of the first sort named, I could wish the Reverend Mr. Ruterford, Mr. Bayle, Mr. Rathbone, Mr. Paget, Mr. Ball, etc. would but inform themselves further by the truth of this History, supposing they cannot chuse but in a good measure be satisfied already with the pacificatory and meeke answers of as many Reverend and godly Elders of ours.

Now that I would they should take notice of is, that the Churches of Christ in New England, and their Officers have hitherto been so far from imbracing the Erronious Doctrines of these times, that through the powers of Christ they have valiantly defended the truth, and cut down all deceivable Doctrine; the like hath not been done for many ages heretofore. Reverend and beloved in Christ, could your eyes but behold the efficacy of loving counsell in the Communion of congregationall Churches, and the reverend respect, honour and love, given to all Teaching Elders, charity commands me to thinke you would never stand for Classicall injunctions any more, neither Diocesan, nor Provinciall authority can possible reach so far as this royall Law of love in communion of Churches: verily its more univerall then the Papall power, and assuredly the dayes are at hand, wherein both Jew and Gentile Churches shall exercise this old Modell of Church Government, and send their Church salutations and admonitions from one end of the World unto another, when the Kingdomes of the Earth are become our Lord Christs; Then shall the exhortation of one Church to another prevaile more to Reformation, then all the thundering Bulls, excommunicating Lordly censures, and shamefull penalties of all the Lording Churches in the World, and such shall be and is the efficacy of this intire love one to another, that the withdrawing of any one Church of Christ, according to the Rule of the word, from those that walke inordinatly, will be more terrible to the Church or Churches so forsaken, then an Army with Banners: yes, and it may be added, because civill Government is like to turne nurse in more places then one, this royall Law of love shall become the Law of Nations, and none will suffer their subjects to rebell against it.

But to our beloved brethren in England on the other hand, the Reverend Mr. Burroughs, Mr. Goodwin, etc. This seemeth you have apprehended our Churches and civill Government, to be too strict in dealing with persons for their sinfull opinions, I wish the offenders be none of your intelligencers, who to be sure will make the worst of things. I know you are in charity with us; And therefore a few words will satisfie, which I hope you want not from your good friends our Reverend Elders, who could wish you as much happinesse as our selves to expell error before it grew to that height to cry downe the sound and wholesome truths, casting durt on our Orthodox and godly Ministery. I wish you open your mouths wide enough to be filled with this blessing; the Lord hath done great, and unexpected things for you, and why not this? One and twenty yeares experience hath taught us that Errors and Heresies are not broached, and held out here by tender consciences, such as are weak in the Faith, but by such as think them Scholers of the upper forme, such as would teach the most ablest Christian among us another Gospell, and further we finde our Erronist[s], wanting a common enemy to contend withall, as you, have fallen foule of our godly Magistrates and Ministers, and will not suffer us quietly to injoy the Ordinance of Christ, for which wee hither came, buzzing our people in the eare with a thing they call liberty, which when any have tasted a smack of, they can no more indure to hear of a Synod or gathering together of able, and Orthodox Christians, nor yet of communion of Churches, but would be independent to purpose, and as for civill Government they deem Religion to be a thing beyond their Sphere.

 

 

CHAP. XLV.

Of the civill Government in N. England,

and their nurture of the people upon their tender knees.

The vernall of the year 1637. being now in his prime, and as the season of the yeare grew hotter, so the minds of many were hot in the eager pursuite of their selfe conceited opinions, and verily had not authority stept in, it was much to be doubted they would have proceeded from words to blowes. Great hold and keepe there was about choice of Magistrates this yeare, the choyce being retarded by a paper call’d a Petition, but indeed a meere device to hinder the election, till the erronious party were strengthened, their number increasing daily, but the Lord Christ gratiously providing for the peace of his people toward the end of the day the honoured John Winthrope Esquire, was chosen Governour, and Thomas Dudly Esq. Deputy Governor: the number of free-men added this year was about 125.

Here according to promise the Reader shall have an accoumpt {account} of the civill Government of this little Commonwealth. As their whole aime in their removall from their Native Country, was to injoy the liberties of the Gospell of Christ, so in serving up civill Government, they daily direct their choice to make use of such men as mostly indeavour to keepe the truths of Christ pure and unspotted, and assuredly they can digest any wrongs or injuries done them in their estates, or trade, better then the wresting of their right in the freedome of the Gospell, out of their hands, and this the Erronist knowing right well (to save their heads whole) perswade men it is not for civill Government to meddle with matters of Religion; and also to helpe out with their damnable Doctrines, they report it in all places, where they be come, that New England Government doth persecute the people and Churches of Christ; which to speake truth they have hitherto beene so far from, that they have indeavoured to expell all such beasts of prey, (who will not be reclaimed) that here might be none left to hurt or destroy in all Gods holy Mountaine, and therefore are ready to put the Churches of Christ in minde of their duty herein; yea, and sometimes going before them in their civill censures that they may not onely professe the truth, but also hate every false way, not that they would compell men to believe by the power of the Sword, but to indeavour all may answer their profession, whether in Church Covenant or otherwise, by knowing they bare not the Sword in vaine. Neither doe they exercise civill power to bring all under their obedience to a uniformity in every poynt of Religion, but to keepe them in the unity of the spirit, and the bond of peace, nor yet have they ever mixed their civill powers with the authority peculiarly given by Christ to his Churches and Officers of them, but from time to time have laboured to uphold their priviledges and only communion one with another.

The chiefe Court or supreame power of this little Commonwealth, consists of a mixt company, part Aristocracy, and part Democracy of Magistrates, that are yearly chosen by the major Vote of the whole body of the Free-men through-out the Country; and Deputies chosen by the severall Townes. They have hitherto had about 12. or 13. Magistrates in the Colony of the Mattacusets, the other Colonies have not above five or six, they have hitherto beene Volunteers, governing without pay from the people, onely the Governor of the Mattacusets hath some yeares 100 l. allowed him, and some years lesse. Many of the Magistrates are already remembred, yet with some of the first came hither Mr. Simon Brodestreet, in this short Meeter is he remembred.

Now Simon young, step in among, these worthies take thy place:

All day to toile in vinyard, while Christ thee upholds with grace;

Thee wisdom grave betime he gave, and tongue to utter it,

That thou mightst be a blessing free, and for this calling fit.

Thy counsell well advis’d dost tell, with words ordered compleat,

Thy memory, doth amplifie, meeting with matters great.

Broad liberty, do thou deny, Brodstreet Christ would thee have

For’s truth contend, strong reason spend, it from aspersion save.

He furnish’t thee with these gifts free, to last he must them make,

Still adding more, to thy old store, till he thee to him take.

The Lord was pleased to furnish these his people with some able instruments in most of their Townes, that were skill’d in Common-wealth work, out of which they chose their Deputies, whose number was ordinarily between 30. and 40. Some of them there will be occasion to speake of among their Military Men, but see here the Wonder-working Providence of Sions Saviour appears much in gathering together stones to build up the walls of Jerusalem (that his Sion may be surrounded with Bulworkes and Towres). With a whispering word in the eares of his servants, he crosses the Angles of England from Cornewall to Kent, from Dover to Barwick, not leaving out Scotland and Wales; Wise men are perswaded to the worke without arguing like Elisha, when Elias cast his mantle on him,{} so these men make no stop, but say suffer me onely to see my inheritance, and I will away for New England. And now I could wish our Brethren in England would not be angry with us for making such hast. Brethren, you know how the case stood with our Ministers, as it was with Gideon, who could thresh out no Corne, but hee must does it secretly to hide it from the Midianites, who spread the Land like Grashoppers, no more could they thresh and cleane up any Wheate for the Lords Garner, but the Prelates would presently be upon their backs, and plow long furrowes there, and you may believe it, if you will (for it is certaine) many, had not this little number gone forth to blow their Trumpets, and breake their Pitchers, making the brightnesse of their Lamps appeare, surely the host of the Midianites had never been put to flight, and if still any of our Brethren shall contend with us, wee answer with Gideon, the Lord hath delivered into your hands the chiefe Princes of Midian, and what were we able to do in comparison of you; yet shall we not cease to follow on the worke of Reformation, although weake and faint, till the Lord be pleased to free his Israel from all their enemies; and verily England hath not wanted the Prayers of the poore people of Christ here. And also some of our chiefe helpes both for Church-worke, Military and common-wealth-worke; yet through the Lords mercy, we still retaine among our Democracy the godly Captaine William Hathorn, whom the Lord hath indued with a quick apprehension, strong memory, and rhetorick, volubility of speech, which hath caused the people to make use of him often in publick service, especially when they have had to do with any forrein Government; Mr. Nathaniel Duncan, learned in the Latine and French tongue, a very good accountant, Wherefore he is called to the place of Auditor Generall for the Country [Country]; Mr. John Glovar, a man strong for the truth, a plaine sincere godly man, and of good abilities; Captaine Daniel Gogkin, who was drawen hither from Virginia, by having his affection strongly set on the truths of Christ, and his pure Ordinances; being indued by the Lord with good understanding; Captaine William Tinge, sometime Treasurour for the County [Country], but being absent for some space of time in England, Mr. Richard Russell was chosen in his roome; Mr. Edward Rawson, a young man, yet imployed in Common-wealth affaires a long time, being well beloved of the inhabitants of Newbery, having had a large hand in her Foundation; but of late he being of a ripe capacity, a good yeoman [penman] and eloquent inditer, hath beene chosen Secretary for the Country; Mr. William Hubbard of Iphshwich, a learned man, being well read in state matters: of a very affable and humble behaviour; who hath expended much of his Estate to helpe on this worke, although he be slow of speech, yet is hee down right for the businesse; Captaine Umphry Atherton, one of a cheerfull spirit, and intire for the Count[r]y; Mr. Edward Jackson, one who cannot indure to see the truths of Christ trampled under foot by the erronious party, Eleazar Lusher one of the right stamp, and pure mettle, a gratious, humble and heavenly minded man; Mr. Joseph Hill, a man active for to bring the Lawes of the Count[r]y in order; Mr. Whipple, one whose godly sincerity is much approved; Mr. Francis Norton, one of a cheerfull spirit, and full of love to the truth; Mr. Robert Paine, a right godly man, and one whose estate hath holpe on well with the worke of this little Common-wealth; Mr. William Torry, a good penman and skild in the Latine tongue, usually Clarke of the Deputies; the Survayor Generall of the Armies [Armes] of the Country, John Johnson, of an undanted spirit; Mr. William Parker [Parkes], a man of a pregnant understanding, and very usefull in his place. Many more would be named, but for tediousnesse, neither will it please the men more to be named, then not, for all are very willing to acknowledge their inability for the worke, and the best are not without many imperfections.

The Authors end in naming some few is for none other end, but to make good the title of this Book and to incourage all the servants of Christ for the time to come, wholely to rely upon him, when they go about any difficult work, which may tend to the glory of his Name. Who could have told these men, being scattered abroad throughout the Island of Great Britaine, they should meete on a Wildernesse nine hundred Leagues remote, and there keep Court together to study the preservation of Christs poore scattered flockes? nay brethren, when you first tooke book in hand to learne your Letters, you would have been very dull pates, but for this worke; assuredly, how you came by large inheritances, some of you, and estates of hundreds, and thousands, your selves best know, but believe it, the Lord intended it for this very work, The Earth is the Lords, and the fulnesse of it, then let none of the people of Christ mourn that they have spent their wealth in this Wildernesse, if it have holpe on the worke, rather rejoyce that Christ hath betrusted thee to be Steward for the King of Kings, and that in so noble an achievement the worthiest worke that the memory of our selves, and our fore-fathers can reach unto.

And brethren, as for the good parts and gifts the Author hath commended you for, but for the edifying of the body of Christ, and assisting his people in this work, you had been empty of all good.

And now seeing it is the opinion of many in these dayes of Reformation, that all sorts of Sectaries (that acknowledge a Christ) should be tolerated by civill Government, except Papist, and this Government hath hitherto, and is for future time resolved to practice otherwise (the Lord assisting) having met already with more blasphemous Sectaries, then are Papists; wherefore it will not be amisse if our Countrymen be acquainted with the one and twenty yeares experience of this Wildernesse worke, in point of Government. First, it is their judgment, and that from Scripture taught them, that those, who are chose to place of government, must be men truly fearing God, wise and learned in the truths of Christ, (if so) as hitherto it hath been New Englands practice, then surely such will be utterly unfit to tolerate all sorts of Sectaries, as because they have taken up Joshuas resolution, to serve the Lord and a man cannot serve two Masters, much lesse many Masters; Then surely such as would have all sorts of sinfull opinions upheld by the civill government, must be sure to make choise of the most Atheisticall persons they can finde to governe, such as are right Gallios: for N.E. hath found by experience that every man will most favour his own way of Profession, and labor tooth and naile to maintaine it, and if any have complied with other that have been of a contrary sinfull opinion to their own, it hath been, because they would have their own scape scot free, but assuredly the Lord Christ will allow of no such wayes for the favouring the professors of his truths, nor may any Magistrate doe evill that good may come of it, in favouring dangerous and deceivable doctrines, that others may favour the true servants of Christ, neither is there any such need, for it is their honours (if the will of God be so) to suffer, nor can the people of N. England (I meane the better part) be perswaded to set up any other to governe, but such are zealous for the maintainance of the truths of Christ; yet of late there is a buzzing noise, as if it were injury to the Churches for civill power to medle in matters of Religion, but to be sure there are many that strive for a Toleration, yet the people of Christ, who are the naturall Mothers of this Government, resolve never to see their living child so divided, looking at such a government to be no better to them, a living child divided in twaine; and therefore desires their loving Countrymen to beare with them in this point, and if any notwithstanding shall force it to be so, we shall shew our natural affection, and leave all to them, chusing rather to dwell on the backside of this Desert (a place as yet unaccessible) knowing assuredly our God will appeare for our deliverance. Yet let them also know the Souldiers of Christ in N.E. are not of such a pusillanimous spirit, but resolve as that valiant Jeptha did to keep in possession, the Towns his God had given them, so we are resolved (the Lord willing) to keepe the government our God hath given us, and for witnesse hee hath so done, let this History manifest: for we chose not the place for the Land, but for the government. That our Lord Christ might raigne over us, both in Churches and Common-wealth, and although the Lord have been pleased by an extraordinary blessing upon his peoples industry to make the place fruitfull (as at this day indeed it is) yet all may know the land in it selfe is very sterrill, but the upholding of the truths of Christ is chiefe cause why many have hitherto come: and further if the servants of Christ be not much mistaken, the downfall of Antichrist is at hand, and then the Kingdome[s] of the Earth shall become the Kingdome of our Lord Christ in a more peculiar manner, than now they are, and surely godly civill government shall have a great share in that worke, for they are exhorted to fill her double of the Cup, shee hath given to them; and also know our Magistrates, being conscious of ruling for Christ, dare not admit of any bastardly brood to be nurst up upon their tender knees, neither will any Christian of a sound judgement vote for any, but such as earnestly contend for the Faith, although the increase of Trade, and traffique may be a great inducement to some.